A law created to prevent Indian Point manager Holtec from dumping nuclear wastewater into the Hudson River is at the center of a lawsuit filed by Holtec against New York state.

The environmental advocacy group Riverkeeper fought to get the Save The Hudson act signed last year.

“So we have the wastewater, but we are also very concerned about contamination of groundwater and that groundwater reaching the Hudson River," Riverkeeper staff attorney Victoria Leung said. "So this is a very important issue, but is not the only pathway that radioactive water is getting into the Hudson.”

What You Need To Know

  • Last year, the "Save The Hudson" act went into law, prohibiting the dumping of nuclear wastewater into the Hudson River 

  • Holtec, the company overseeing the closure of Indian Point, sued New York state over the law

  • Holtec claims the state's law is pre-empted by federal law on nuclear policy 

The sponsor of the law, Sen. Peter Harckam, send, in part, that: “Holtec’s litigation does not change these facts: The New York State Senate unanimously approved legislation to stop the dumping of radioactive wastewater into the Hudson.”

The lawsuit contends the state did not have the authority to make a change affecting nuclear policy, and that’s something only the federal government can do.

Leung said that states can make these changes in cases of economic impact.

“There is case law, there is legal precedent that states are allowed to enact regulation to protect its economic interests, even one that intersects with the nuclear field," she said. 

Holtec said the change would set back its efforts to safely close Indian Point by about eight years. In a statement, Holtec added that the delay “hurts the local community’s desire to see the project completed and the property returned as an asset for economic development in the region."

“Riverkeeper, we had questioned Holtec on their eight-year delay," Leung said. "It became clear that they didn't have a solid basis for developing this eight-year delay, to justify this eight-year delay based on the Save the Hudson Act.”

The Indian Point Decommissioning Oversight Board will hold its next in-person meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 25 in Cortlandt Town Hall.